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When to visit Australia and the Pacific

by SmarterTravel Staff

Australia and the Pacific is a diverse region that includes tropical, temperate, and desert climates. For the most part, it has two seasons that last six months each and are opposite to those in the northern hemisphere: summer, from December to mid-May, and winter, from mid-May through November. Anytime can be a good time to go considering that many areas are warm year-round. Australia and New Zealand have more distinct seasons, but the cooler periods can be ideal for activities like skiing.

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  • high season: December to mid-May
  • low season: mid-May to November

Antarctica, which also touches the Pacific, is only tourist-friendly from December through January.

Weather Information

Tropical countries like French Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji have warm weather year-round with temperatures in the 80s. April through November tends to be more pleasant with cooling trade winds and little rain. December through March is hot and humid, and cyclones or monsoons can occur. In Micronesia, which is on the opposite side of the equator, the wet and drier seasons are flipped. Also, it is on the edge of the cyclone zone, so storms are unlikely.

Australia is a fairly large country with different climatic zones. The north experiences pleasant winters with temperatures in the 70s and 80s and hot and humid summers reaching the high 90s. The south (including Sidney and Melbourne), along with New Zealand, is temperate, with warm summers and snow during the winter, particularly in the mountains. Central and western Australia is desert with a dry climate and temperatures that can hit the 90s.

Antarctica reaches the mid-40s from December through January, but temperatures the rest of the year drop well below zero degrees and there is no daylight.

Crowd Information

Most places are more crowded during the high season, usually summer (winter in the northern hemisphere), and are less crowded during their low seasons.

Closure Information

Most hotels and attractions remain open in year-round tourist areas. There is no tourism in Antarctica from March through September.

When to Book

Book well in advance for travel during the high season.

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